Two-step procedure to detect blood cyanide: 1) The chemosensor is added to the blood sample. If cyanide is present in the blood, it forms a purple complex with the chemosensor. The solution is squeezed through a syringe containing a solid phase. 2) The solid phase is rinsed with water to remove the blood, leaving the violet complex that the cyanide formed with the chemosensor.
Faster, easier, more versatile
“What I like most about our method is that detection is possible solely with the naked eye, and it needs only a drop of blood,” says Zelder. Quantitative measurements are also possible, thereby enabling emergency responders to determine the grade of cyanide poisoning. The correct dosage of antidote can be chosen, and detoxification can be monitored during treatment. “In principle, our method meets all the requirements for application in emergency situations,” explains Christine Männel-Croisé. Currently, Männel-Croisé and Zelder are in discussion with paramedics to test their method in cases of emergency.
Nathalie Huber | Universität Zürich
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